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TOPIC: missing prolog Romeo and Juliet

missing prolog Romeo and Juliet 5 years 6 months ago #2371

I wonder if some kind person might help me with a problem concerning Romeo and Juliet.

I have been reading the First Folio (1623) version, and notice that other versions seem to have a prologue.

I cannot find it with the version I am studying.

Where is the prologue?

Is there a facsimile of it any where?

Many many thanks
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missing prolog Romeo and Juliet 5 years 6 months ago #2372

The Prologue wasn't in the First Folio, only Quarto. It's here:

http://www.playshakespeare.com/romeo-an ... i-prologue
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missing prolog Romeo and Juliet 5 years 6 months ago #2373

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A curiosity, that. It's in Q2 (pretty much the 'definitive' version that most edits are based upon) as is the prologue to Act 2, but in F1 only the prologue to Act 2 was printed. The Play's Prologue tells the entire story and gives away the ending, but the second prologue doesn't. Are you aware of any reasons given for the exclusion in F1?
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missing prolog Romeo and Juliet 5 years 6 months ago #2374

Actually, the FF is a direct copy of Q3 (with some minor stage direction updates). There were five quartos. There were a number of improvements in Q3 over Q2, but also a number of glaring errors, so the possibility of the prologue being left out of the FF is likely an unintended omission (maybe it being in the form of a sonnet has something to do with it).
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missing prolog Romeo and Juliet 5 years 6 months ago #2375

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Wow--Wouldn't that be something more than simply 'glaring' on the part of Heminges & Condell, who claim to have taken pains to offer the texts "...cur'd, and perfect of their limbes;...", etc., and on & on about it? If the sonnet was (as it now is) an integral part of the play, why should one suppose that one page (the very first and title page, no less) wouldn't be noticed and/or couldn't be emended?
Still very curious.
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missing prolog Romeo and Juliet 5 years 6 months ago #2376

Well, there are far more questions than answers on this one. H&C might have set it aside to add to the collection of sonnets, feeling is was more appropriate, and overlooked it when they got to it. There are plenty of errors on Q3 (even taking direct passages with their errors from Q1) that I wouldn't rule out that possibility. But it's all quite speculative and we'll likely never know for sure.
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missing prolog Romeo and Juliet 5 years 6 months ago #2403

I wonder if there is something someone was trying to tell us?

It seems to me that an 'error' right at the start of a play is the besy place to leave a kind of clue.

There are so many unanswered problems - mysteries, if you like.

Is it possible to explain Johnson's remark re Latin and Greek etc?

Could there be another, far simpler, and yet deeper explanation?

Regards all
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